Friday, July 23, 2004

What do I do?

I've just got off the phone from a teleconference with Leah, my business coach and some of her other clients. The topic under discussion was being able to decisively answer the question "What do you do?" when it arises in business and social settings. It was a good discussion, a bit wishy-washy at times for a techo like myself but I did come away with a better answer to that question.

Usually when I'm asked "What do you do with yourself?", I tend to umm and arr for few seconds while I consider my answer. Usually it's because I'm wondering which of the three different aspects of my business do I tell this person about. At present I keep these three aspects, the development of Sydney, the business consulting and the home troubleshooting quite separate. Those associated with one aspect usually know very little or nothing about the other two.

This may or may not be the best way to manage things, I'd have to say I'm undecided about it at present. It has prevented me from decisively answering the "What do you do?" question though.

During the teleconference the point was made that there is a common thread running through all three businesses and that is software. In the business consulting and home computer troubleshooting I'm primarily dealing with software, installing it, writing it, configuring or troubleshooting it. I do limited work with hardware but usually the hardest thing about installing a new piece of hardware is configuring the OS and the software for it.

So my answer to that question I guess could be something like

"I work with software primarily. I write my own software and install, configure and troubleshoot other people's software."

Seems like quite a good response to me. I like it better than saying I work in computers or IT which are impossibly general and real turn offs to some people.

Any thoughts?


At 4:47 AM, Blogger Will Pate said...

I'd say that as good a description as any. Why the word "primarily" though? It seems unnecessary. Are you doing anything significant that doesn't involve software?

At 1:01 AM, Blogger Rauno said...

I like it. I'd only suggest shortening to:

Software. I write my own and install, configure and troubleshoot other people's.

At 1:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this is a pretty late response, (will you even see it) but I'd suggest just telling them what you want them to know. IOW, have different responses:
A generic answer: "I'm starting a software company"
A "this guy might get me some business" answer: I do software consulting for small businesses and home users

In my case I just say "I write software for medical instruments." Even if the other person has no clue about computers, the "medical instruments" bit gives them enough of an idea to decide if they want more detail or to just respond, "So how you think the Vikings will do in the game this weekend" :-)

I got a *lot* of errors as I was attempting to reply to this.


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