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Holiday parties - are you ready to network?

tchandy

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Since this is the time of year when everyone goes to holiday parties, why not network at the same time. I learned several new things when I read this. Check it out for yourself.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22029523/

Tom
 

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kimberland

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I've got a question for everyone,
especially those that are semi or fully retired,
when asked the standard party question
"what do you do?"
what do you respond?

I find that challenging
since I do a little bit of everything.
I usually align my answer with my audience.
If it is a corporate do,
I'll talk about the contract gigs.
If it is an artsie do,
I'll talk about the upcoming book,
etc.
 

Diane Kennedy

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Great question. I used to try to explain what I did and then as I noticed them nodding off, decided I needed something a little snappier.

I have a couple of responses: "I'm a tax author" (if it's someone that isn't a possible client - inevitably it turns into someone trying to figure out how to get published) or "I save people thousands of dollars in taxes" They then typically open up about their situation and it becomes a fun conversation.

My husband heads up sales for the tax strategies of our CPA firm. He has a standard, "I sell $2 coins for $1" which of course leads to "tell me more" (Although he has to update that a little, I have a $5,000 tax strategy program that averages $20,000 per year savings - so it's more like a $4 coin for $1...but I dont' think there is such a thing)
 

Diane Kennedy

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Kimberland, if I could make a suggestion for you..

I know you have a couple of blogs and if your goal is to drive traffic, use the cocktail conversation as a way to do that. I show people how to blog and make money at home (if that's what you do) or I blog and .... - make it a benefit to them.
 

MJ DeMarco

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I've got a question for everyone,
especially those that are semi or fully retired,
when asked the standard party question
"what do you do?"
what do you respond?
This lately has been an interesting quandary for me ... I get asked this all the time and until recently, the answer has always been easy. Now I find myself struggling with an answer. I've varied all my answers from

1) Nothing (Doesn't work, I get disingenuous looks from strangers as if I was some kind of crack dealer or living off daddy's trust fund.)
2) Semi-Retired (Results in a dumbfounded look to indicate that they can't believe someone in their 30's is retired.)
3) Screenwriter/author (Results in "What book/movie" - since none of them are done, these leads to no where.)

It seems there is no EZ, short answer!
:smx4:
 

Yankees338

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This lately has been an interesting quandary for me ... I get asked this all the time and until recently, the answer has always been easy. Now I find myself struggling with an answer. I've varied all my answers from

1) Nothing (Doesn't work, I get disingenuous looks from strangers as if I was some kind of crack dealer or living off daddy's trust fund.)
2) Semi-Retired (Results in a dumbfounded look to indicate that they can't believe someone in their 30's is retired.)
3) Screenwriter/author (Results in "What book/movie" - since none of them are done, these leads to no where.)

It seems there is no EZ, short answer!
:smx4:
What's wrong with simply saying you're an entrepreneur? Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur...
 

kimberland

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What's wrong with simply saying you're an entrepreneur? Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur...
Since entrepreneur is usually equivalent to unemployed,
the next question always is... where is your product?

Sort of like MJ's author response... where is your book?
(And that is SO true.
Even when I tell folks the May launch date,
I get the "oh, SURE, you are" knowing response.)

Semi-retired doesn't go over too well either.
'Cause then I get asked if the hubby works.
When I say he does (and he will forever, he likes the social part of it),
I get put in the housewife living off her sugar daddy bucket
(which the hubby plays up
'cause it drives me crazy
and makes him chuckle).

Well, next year, I'll be an author with a book
(and books are forever)
so my "problems" will be solved.
But it is interesting to hear what explanations other people have.

: )
 

MJ DeMarco

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What's wrong with simply saying you're an entrepreneur? Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur...
That leads to what company? Website? What else? I tried this response back in my early 20's -- I hated it.
 

nomadjanet

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I've got a question for everyone,
especially those that are semi or fully retired,
when asked the standard party question
"what do you do?"
what do you respond?

I find that challenging
since I do a little bit of everything.
I usually align my answer with my audience.
If it is a corporate do,
I'll talk about the contract gigs.
If it is an artsie do,
I'll talk about the upcoming book,
etc.
I respond, "In reference to what?" this throws them off, then they will either say : for a living or wander off in confusion.
The ones that say for a living, I answer depending on where I am and who they are. My favorite thing to do is say "whatever I want" but enough about me, what do you do. People always like to talk about themselves and the ones who really had that agenda will do just that. The curious ones, the ones who might actually be interesting will question you about the "whatever I want" comment and that usualy leads to good conversations.
Janet
 

thenewguy25

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Oct 23, 2007
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I generally tell people that I run an advertising company that advertises for online companies. If they start asking questions and seem interested, I will eventually ask them if they would like to see it for themselves then I give them my card and move on
 

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Diane Kennedy

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Aug 31, 2007
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This lately has been an interesting quandary for me ... I get asked this all the time and until recently, the answer has always been easy. Now I find myself struggling with an answer. I've varied all my answers from

1) Nothing (Doesn't work, I get disingenuous looks from strangers as if I was some kind of crack dealer or living off daddy's trust fund.)
2) Semi-Retired (Results in a dumbfounded look to indicate that they can't believe someone in their 30's is retired.)
3) Screenwriter/author (Results in "What book/movie" - since none of them are done, these leads to no where.)

It seems there is no EZ, short answer!
:smx4:
MJ: How about "I run the country's foremost website on community building around accelerated wealth creation."

Response: "Huh?"

MJ: Check out thefastlanetomillions.com and hand them a business card.

If goal is to drive traffic....

If goal is just get out of the conversation, tell them you have one of the jobs listed on the 'dead end jobs" thread.
 

AroundTheWorld

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Oh, I really dislike this question... and have yet to come up with an answer.

My hubby's answer cracks me up.... "oh, a little bit of everything." He gets the blank look. :rofl::rofl::rofl:

Like kimber, I sometimes answer according to the audience. "I homeschool my kids." or "I develop self-storage properties" or "I write."

I can't wait to hear what other's say.
 

Diane Kennedy

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This is SO easy for me. Maybe I need to write another book - so ATW - what do you want to have happen when someone asks? Do you want them to discuss a specific topic? Leave you alone? Invest with you?

BTW - another answer for MJ: Q: What do you do? A: What does it matter? I drive a Lambo.
 

MJ DeMarco

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MJ: How about "I run the country's foremost website on community building around accelerated wealth creation."

Response: "Huh?"

MJ: Check out thefastlanetomillions.com and hand them a business card.

If goal is to drive traffic....

If goal is just get out of the conversation, tell them you have one of the jobs listed on the 'dead end jobs" thread.
This is what I plan on doing once I have a book done and ready to be sold. This forum is supposed to be the complement to the book, not the opposite!

BTW - another answer for MJ: Q: What do you do? A: What does it matter? I drive a Lambo.
Ewww .... definitely not my style. An answer like that would instantly label me a tool. If someone said that to me, I'd be like "Yea, so?" I don't get arrogant until I am approached with arrogance! Until then, you can find me being more of a listener than a talker at any given holiday party.
 

EasyMoney_in_NC

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Sep 9, 2007
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When someone asks me .......I usually just tell them "if you listen my wife, she'd have you believe.....NOTHING!"

Most of the time, parties consist of her people (she's a 3rd grade teacher), most of them have no clue where we (me and the wife) are in our lives. It pains me greatly to listen to some of the stories and gripes about lack of money, what they would love to have and can't afford.......ahhh, its agony I tell you.
Like MJ I try to down play the Porsche parked outside, not wanting to seem "tool'ish" either.
In most situations, I try to wait for someone else to chime in on what they do....sometimes leads to me slipping in the many things I have my hands in.
 

Diane Kennedy

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I'm still trying to find an answer for MJ to this:

How about: I just sold an Internet business and I'm working on writing a book about it.

Or (I use this in some circles) - I own some businesses, but what I''m really spending my time on now is working with (then mention a non profit).

I like Easy's answer as well.

People ask the question because they're trying to find something to relate to you about. So, how do you want to relate to people?
 

AroundTheWorld

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Diane is asking great questions! It really gets to the heart of the issue...

what do you want to have happen when someone asks? Do you want them to discuss a specific topic? Leave you alone? Invest with you?
People ask the question because they're trying to find something to relate to you about. So, how do you want to relate to people?
I just want to get to know people - usually. The problem is that it often feels like I get pigeon-holed... (is that a word?) If I say, "I homeschool my kids" or "semi-retired" then I get the "oh-you-are-a-houswife-livin'-off-the-hubby" response that Kimber spoke of. Like her, I HATE that.

First impressions are lasting impressions - but my life is so.... eclectic and diversified.... I guess it is deciding which part to present first.

EZ... I like your response!
 

Diane Kennedy

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I'm not sure why, but I just can't leave this thread alone. It's interesting that so many on this forum struggle with the same issue - how do I explain what it is I do to someone who doesn't understand the bigger issue of wealth-building?

It seems that there is a more universal question about how do we fit in when, face it, we don't fit in. I think that's one reason the forum is so successful (and will be even more so) because it gives people a chance to talk to others who have the same issue.

ATW: I also homeschool our son. I rarely mention that to someone I've just met because it REALLY pigeon holes me. I wonder for you if it might make sense to just say something like "I handle our family's investments and am involved in a lot of other projects as well such as ......." That way you can highlight something in particular that someone else might be involved in.

To be honest I tend to be in groups of people where either everybody knows me (family stuff) or it's more business/community service related, so my responses are always related to the business/community service side. I think I'm in situations where it is a little easier for me than others I'm reading about on the forum.

Some of the strangest responses I ever got that I still don't understand was when we were in the adoption process of David. David was having a lot of trouble with my husband & I coming down to visit and then leaving. So, we bought a 32' travel trailer and moved it on to the orphanage grounds. (My publicist was terrified someone would find out) I lived there for 3 months while we finalized the adoption. I would leave for a few days to fly out for meetings, but pretty much I just stayed at the orphanage and it gave him some reassurance that he wasn't going to get left. For me, it was a great adventure and I often think that I want to write a book about those 3 months in Juarez.

The strange thing that would happen was when groups would come down from the U.S. There are all kinds of people in these groups. Some seem to be more motivated in "I need to feel better about my life so I'm going to go see people who really have it bad, so I can feel superior". Personally, I wanted to tell them to go pound sand, but from the orphanage's viewpoint any donation or help was needed and a little attitude from the superior acting Americans was a small price to pay.

I had to be careful about disclosing too much about me or my life, but still sometimes someone would recognize me or one of the kids might say something. I had people get just furious with me. Just out of the blue, comments like "Well, if you're such a famous author, why don't you ..." and I had never had said anything about what I do or who I was. One fundamentalist group came down to throw a party for the kids and I was talking to someone else who had come over. The lady who was one of the heads of the group came over and said, "I just found out who you are and I want you to know that we can still take your money because the Bible says to take money from the unrighteous." I looked at my friend and we both just went "Huh?" He went over to try to talk to her and I just walked away back to the trailer and stayed there the rest of the night. Now it seems silly, at the time it was devastating to me.

So, it does matter, I guess, how you introduce yourself. But it seems to me that it's more about how the other person is going to be able to handle what you say.
 

kimberland

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Oh geez, Diane.
I feel for you.

When one of my brothers committed suicide
(this gentle soul felt that heaven sounded a lot better
than our rather brutal homelife,
since I agreed with him,
I have to accept, though not like, his choice),
my Mom had people come up to her at the funeral
and say
"isn't it sad that your son will never go to heaven."

Why, oh, why did they feel the need to say that?
Why, oh, why did that lady feel the need to toss in the unrighteous bit?

I don't understand that thinking.

And yes, I realize that we won't ever fit in.
I'm simply trying to "pass."
LOL
 

Diane Kennedy

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Kimberland, thank you for your post. You've been through some tough stuff, more than I realized. Your past doesn't equal your future, but it molds the person you become. There's a saying like that in Spanish and that's my butchered translation.

Your post, though, just gave me an "ah-ha"!

One of the distinctions between successful people and others is that successful people THINK about the outcomes of their actions. We're sitting here now at 21 posts on "how to introduce myself at a cocktail party" - when it's obvious from both of our stories that other people never pay a bit of attention to whatever falls out of their mouth.

I think that is one of the differences between success and nonsuccess - paying attention!!
 

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kurtyordy

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Fun game for the semi retired/retired young- see what the most ridiculous answer you can get someone to swallow. i.e., I made millions selling dead kittens to restaurants for the salad bars.

Response: I don't believe you.

Mj: look outside, there is my lambo. That only cost 45 tons of kittens. BTW, didn't I see a persian cat walking around here earlier.
 
Last edited:

Diane Kennedy

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Fun game for the semi retired/retired young- see what the most ridiculous answer you can get someone to swallow. i.e., I made millions selling dead kittens to restaurants for the salad bars.

Response: I don't believe you.

Mj: look outside, there is my lambo. That only cost 45 tons of kittens. BTW, didn't I see a persian cat walking around here earlier.
I invented the Internet.

No, wait, someone else already claimed that...I'll get back to you.
 

andviv

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I started reading the four hour workweek book and reading this thread reminds me of the example that the author gave... he used to say he was a drug dealer, as that was easier to explain than saying he was not doing 'anything' in other people's eyes.

I get the feeling that, most of the time, people ask you what do you do so you ask them back and they get a chance about the wonderful things they do... especially if they have a high paying job/corporate title.
 

AroundTheWorld

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At the heart of it.... does it have to do with how others perceive us?? or maybe it is avoiding those unthoughtful comments that come when you live an unconventional life?

Perhaps that is it for me... It seems to be a bit more common place when we do live lives that are not "mainstream." I have been on the receiving end of unthoughtful comments - often related to my unconventional life. I guess that is maybe why I dislike the 'what do you do' question. If I don't have something conventional to say - it potentially opens to the door - and after a while, you just get tired of it!

Kimber, Diane - you each shared an experience about an unthoughtful comment that came from others. Kimber - what a horribly hurtful thing for that person to say to your mother - and at such an emotionally difficult time anyway. Why do people have to judge.

Diane - I had similar "attacks" when I had my old business... as we were "saving thousands" for people in taxes. I got tired of people telling me I was unethical - it is one of the reasons I was so happy when I sold it this summer. In the end what other's say - particularly other's that really don't have anything to do with our lives - really don't matter - but it still hurts when it happens. After a while - I only wanted to be surrounded by positive people and positive comments and the negative ones really got tiresome.
 

LightHouse

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One of the distinctions between successful people and others is that successful people THINK about the outcomes of their actions.
Have not jumped in this until now. However, i would Definitly agree with you here. I find mself to analyze the outcome of everymove i make, it takes alot of brian power which on the same level is why i think i have problems remebering unimportat things and phone numbers. Iam so focused everyday on what oi am doing and creating in life and analyzing every step i make that everything else bounces off my radar!! Intresting point Diane!
 

LightHouse

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I invented the Internet.

No, wait, someone else already claimed that...I'll get back to you.

[thread jack] Funny story, My main commercial building was a big time tech startup hotspot back in the days, however they did get a few stray B&M's in there, one of the CEO's asked an IT guy if he could put the internet on CD for him so he could surf it on his laptop while on the plane. The tech looked at him and gave the " its a little too big for that" " Well cant you ZIP it?" .... *blank stares and hilarity ensued*

true story!
 

MJ DeMarco

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I'm still trying to find an answer for MJ to this:

How about: I just sold an Internet business and I'm working on writing a book about it.
I like it! Short and sweet!
 

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