DODGING THE ‘WHAT DO YOU DO’ QUESTION? TRY THIS.

Stomach in knots. Anxiety. A consuming feeling of looking like a total cop-out. Yea, that was usually the predominant feeling when I was asked, “So, what do you do.”


I cringed at questions begging me to elaborate to give more detail, what my client portfolio looked like, and where I saw myself down the road.


Social engagements were a real anxiety-prober for me. Not so much now, but at that time…whoa…it was rough.


My concern was that my interests covered many things. Fashion design, writing, cooking, baking, advertising, and more. The big problem was trying to explain to people in a way that didn’t make me seem flighty, all over the place, or non-committal.


I was and still am definitely in a place of “figuring things out.” In fact, I’ve accepted that I’m just going to live there in figuroutable-land.


My guess is that you and me, we share a common struggle with communicating our multi-passionateness.


But to be able to tell our story without feeling ashamed, tense, and riddled with anxiety because we dread being judged and shitted on, we first need to embrace who we are and what we do.


I’ve got a few pointers to help direct the sort of conversation you want to have. A way to navigate explaining who you are and what you do without the cloud of shame hiding in the bushes.


Every time I feel my heart rise in my throat after someone looks at me square in my eyes, and asks “What do you do?” I feel more confident knowing I can pull strength and confidence from one or more of these tools.


The “HA-HA, but I’m fabulous so of course, they ask…”

It may seem silly and downright arrogant, but not so much when you actually say it to yourself in your time of need. Reciting something positive that you know is true takes the degree of worry down a notch. You’re more prepared and likely to start off by responding with something that gives a warm hug to what you do.


Practice makes perfect

This question will come back at various stages of your life, no question. Relax your shoulders by anticipating and so preparing for it. It doesn’t need to be a long-drawn-out saga, but it should be a story that comes to you naturally and makes you feel at ease when telling it. Frame your journey in a positive light. Highlight your diverse strengths in ways that make you proud.


Keep some things to yourself

Everybody doesn’t need to know everything about you or what you’re working on. A little mystery goes a long way. Plus, you owe it to yourself to give yourself some time to work through ideas that aren’t yet developed. Let others in when you’re sincerely ready.


Take time to develop your taste buds

Like I mentioned just now, some of your passions might be in their infancy. You love the idea of it so much but you haven’t yet sampled, tested, and tried it out to see if it really fits you and where you are right now in your life. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it. It might mean that you simply need to revisit the idea at a later time.


Hobbies, passions, and businesses


Not every hobby or passion should = business (Repeat as many times as you need to).

Some things ought to remain things you do for the pure joy of it.


I know first hand that when I’ve tried to or actually succeeded in monetizing something I enjoyed as a hobby; I thoroughly grew to dislike it later on. This doesn’t mean that it will happen to you, but it has happened to me. Monetizing hobbies can suck the ever-loving joy right out of them.


Who cares?

At the end of the day, it’s your life, your journey. No one should stand in judgment of that (but they sure won’t pass up the opportunity to). You control the narrative. So, take control and tell an authentic story; one that you can be proud of.


What do you think? I want to hear what you think of these pointers.


  • How do you deal with explaining your multi-passionateness to people you’ve just met?

  • Any tips or pointers to add to these?


♡ Much, much love.

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