Why I Ignored My Mother’s Well-Meaning Advice

Got a note from Andrew yesterday.

“Recent circumstances,” he wrote, “have prompted me to work on firing up my business and learn to market myself. I’ve always had a sense that doing so isn’t complicated, if not especially easy to do. It’s especially not easy for me as I’m an extreme introvert.”

I’m a natural introvert, too.


During my servitude to the corporate 9-to-5, you could count the conversations I’d initiate in a year on one hand.

But that hadda change when I went freelance.

So I ignored my mom’s prudent advice and (shudder) started talking to strangers.

I talked to fellow geeks in line opening day to see Spider-Man 2. I talked to husbands killing time at Nordstrom while our wives shopped. I talked to other espresso enthusiasts at Starbucks.

When my niece Lizzy was seven, she told me, “I make friends wherever I go.” I try to follow Lizzy’s example.

I smile (but not too broadly; that’s weird). I nod. Maybe I even say hello.

Sometimes I offer news: “I hear Venom’s gonna be in the next movie.”

Sometimes I attempt a “witty” remark: “Didn’t I see you at Bergdorf Goodman last Saturday?”

Sometimes I reveal something personal: “Twelve shots is usually my limit.”

And more often than not, conversation follows. Sure, people occasionally give me the cold shoulder, but I don’t worry about them.

So here’s the bottom line…

Talking to strangers ain’t easy if you haven’t done it before.

But trust me, it gets easier.

And you’ll find it pays off big time — in valuable contacts and opportunities.

P.S. You’ll find more detailed instructions on making business contacts when you check in at http://www.wallyconger.com/fearlessfreelancing.html.

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.