I was at an event recently in which the host opened up Q&A to her panel of coaches. A guy went to the microphone and asked a question. He had just landed a big client and wanted to know how to use that momentum to help him get more clients. He spent a bit of time explaining what he does and what he wanted to do and who he wanted to reach, etc.
One fo the coaches on the panel gave him some surprising advice. He said, “Just be f***ing interesting.”
I loved it. Person after person had asked questions about how to do this that and the other thing. And it was SO BORING!
Now I love people and I appreciate the courage it takes for someone to ask the questions. And yet this was boring stuff.
Because people were so busy trying to get the ‘right’ answer about what to do that they forgot who they are. It’s such a pitfall in business.
Larry Winget gave a keynote that evening and he made a joke about entrepreneurs suffering from “terminal professionalism.’ He is so right.
What is it that happens to us that has us forget to have fun the moment we step into business? What is with the drive to get it right rather than just connect?
Be Interested or Be Interesting
In any interaction or conversation in which you want to make an impact, you’ve got one of two choices. Be interested or be interesting.
Marketing isn’t magic, it’s simply about connecting. Think about when you’ve made a connection with someone recently (whether they knew it or not). I’d bet that person was either interested in you or interesting to you. Period.
You don’t have to even LIKE someone to feel connected to them. Being interesting is enough.
A few seeds for being interested.
- Hold a curious energy.
- Ask questions that cause someone to think beyond their obvious answers.
- Help to make connections – give them a connection to a person or idea that may further what they are interested in.
- Be present – don’t be busy thinking about what you’re going to say next.
- If you’re not interested, consider stopping the conversation!
A few seeds for being interesting.
- Stop trying to do it right. Period. Right and wrong are illusions anyway, you make your own rules.
- Realize that relying on your intellect is a trap. There are plenty of smart people who have no money and no fun.
- Do things you enjoy. Trust that you’ll find the right clients and opportunities when you are having fun. If you aren’t having fun, you’ll attract people who are no fun.
- Don’t manufacture interesting. Don’t try to do things that you think will make you sound impressive. That comes from fear and fear energy shows through.
- Trust that what interests you will interest them. I have no patience for conversations about things that some people find interesting. But the stuff that fascinates me also fascinates my best clients. Trust yourself.
- Share stories. Stories are interesting, information often is not. Whenever possible turn your information into a story. You’ll notice I said “share” vs. “tell.” Telling a story can involve you talking without being present to what you are saying. Sharing a story requires being present.