My body tensed. My throat tightened. I knew it was coming – and I just wanted to disappear…
“So, Giorgia, what do you do?”
Why is that always the first question someone asks you when they meet you?!
I dreaded it. I’ve always worked on multiple projects at the same time – and they had nothing to do with one other. How do you explain that to people in a way that doesn’t make you look flaky and unfocused?
Do you just talk about the day job? Or do you share only your side hustle hoping they can help you grow it? Or do you talk about that new idea you had even if you’ve just started working on it and there’s a high chance you’ll get bored with it soon?
The worst part is, it doesn’t really matter what you pick. Talking about one thing means putting yourself in a box. But, you’re so much more than that. What about all the other things you love to do? Can you never talk about them with anyone?
So many questions.
The answer? There isn’t just one. After years of trial and error, I’ve learned the right pitch depends on what your priorities are and who you’re talking to.
So instead of pressuring yourself to craft that perfect elevator pitch that encompasses all that you do, give yourself permission to have a toolbox of pitches for several occasions.
When someone asks you “what do you do?”, take out the most relevant pitch for that particular occasion, so you can get out what you desire from the connection.
Here are 3 ways to answer the dreaded “what do you do?” question depending on what you’re working on at that given time:
When You’re Launching A New Project
In January 2020, I published a book about skincare. At the time, I was also doing skincare consultations, taking on the odd copywriting gig, and studying to become a life purpose and business coach.
But, the book was priority number one. It wasn’t my life’s work, but if I wanted it to sell well, I knew I had to tell everyone about it. So, for a couple of months before and after the launch, that was all I talked about. I’d simply say: “At the moment, I’m working on [priority project].”
I was still doing all the other things behind the scenes, but they weren’t time sensitive so no one needed to know about them. Not at that time anyway.
If you’re launching a new project, publishing a book, setting up a new business, make that the priority. Telling everyone about it will give it the best chance of success. Once that’s off the ground, you can move onto the next thing.
When Your Passions Have A Common Thread
Your passions may seem unrelated, but there’s always a common thread that links them together. Find that common thread and you’ll know how to label yourself to please people without putting yourself in a box.
An example? I spend my days writing articles, coaching clients on how to start their businesses, organising and preparing for photoshoots, teaching webinars and trainings… But that’s not what I tell people.
When they ask me “what do you do?”, I reply “I’m a business coach for multi-passionate women” or “I help multi-passionate women turn all their passions into one profitable business.”
Or take Marie Forleo. She has infused her passion for dancing into her marketing videos, but I doubt she introduces herself as a marketer or a dancer. She’s the founder of B-School, an online programme that helps entrepreneurs build a business they love.
When you combine multiple passions under one business, it doesn’t matter what you call yourself. All that matters is how you can help people – focus your pitch on that.
Hate the idea of niching down? Download your FREE “Find Your Multi-Passionate Business Idea” workbook to find out today what business you’re meant to create:
When You Can’t Decide What To Talk About
If you’re still stuck and have no idea what project you want to share with people, let them pick.
Just say: “I’m multi-passionate. At the moment, I’m working on [project 1], [project 2], and [project 3]. Which one would you like to hear about?”
This approach works for a couple of reasons:
1. You come across as a creative, fascinating person with fingers in multiple pies. In a world where everyone does only one thing, this makes you stand out from the crowd and makes you the most interesting person in the room.
2. You won’t bore people. How many times have you listened to someone telling you the most boring stories about their jobs? By letting the other person choose, you make sure to talk about something THEY’re interested in.
Wrapping It Up
You don’t have to put yourself in a box and choose a “proper job” to tell people about. As a multi-passionate, you get to choose what to share and when.