For many years one question would trip me up at networking meetups: “What do you do for a living?”
Given my twisted career path, I’ve always found this question difficult to answer simply. And yet, it requires a simple answer. People don’t want to hear your life history. They want to meet people who may make good collaborators.
Especially when moving into a new field, it’s common to waffle on such questions with a long explanation of “Well, I used to do x, but I’m starting to get into y.” This is counterproductive. If you have a strong desire to enter a new field and a curiosity that has carried you to learn the skills involved, you can stop telling people you are “trying to be…” and instead say with confidence “I am….”
Because here’s the thing: people are very likely to believe you.
Sooner or later, you need to get out of the practice room. And no one is going to let you do that if you don’t believe in yourself.
You have more control over how people perceive you than you realize.
Getting better at self-promotion is crucial to the success of your business. No matter how socially awkward you think you are, this is a skill that you *can* learn, hone, and master.