What is it that you do?

When did we become so good at judging each other? I feel like I am constantly having to prove myself & convince people that I DO something.

Say you’re at a wedding, you are introduced to someone new. What do you want to bet in the first 2 questions they ask you “so what is it that you do?”. I dread this question. If I were to answer “I’m a stay at home mom”, unless they are too, there is a look of “so what do you do all day?”. They don’t find it funny when I answer “whatever I want & I don’t even have to wear a bra”.

The thing is, my husband & I started a trucking company in 2012, end of 2013 I had our son, end of 2015 I started my online company Every Bit of Sunshine & I am going to be homeschooling this fall. So I have plenty of things to “say I do” & it can be a juggling act. But even when I say “I’m a work from home mom, we own a trucking company & I own an online newborn clothing company for photographers” people still just go “oh” & move on. Don’t you ever feel like you wish you warranted more than a “oh” or an opinion on if they approved?

I was thinking about all of this after I was listening to a talk from Brene Brown. She was referencing how we are sized up by our professions & how much more interesting it would be if instead we asked someone upon meeting them “what do you like to do?”. I would love this! In a recent social media post we were asked to list 3 things we love, to get to know each other better. The variety was wonderful. Conversations flowed & made everyone seem accessible. Just with 3 things.

I have seen in groups & talked to many friends that are creatives & they also seem to have the issue of when asked what they do & they answer “I own a photography studio” or I am a “photographer”. The intricacy of balancing the business side, the technical side & creative side can be very challenging & I do not think it is seen that way when people hear ” I own a creative business”. I have seen some very humble creatives get overshadowed because they do not toot their own horn. They are some of the best in the business but I promise you, if you were sitting across the table from them & meeting for the first time, you wouldn’t know that you are talking to someone who people in their field would pay a lot just to sit with them for an evening learning & chatting. And this applies to so many fields of work.

I am not sure if I feel the answer would be to find a way to find out about their personal interests or just practice

self-confidence & know that you have nothing to prove to a stranger. Probably both & with a smile lol. Even though I know I am blessed & happy in my family, home & businesses, I still get nervous with strangers in informal groups when I feel like that is being measured up. Maybe that is just the introvert & shyness in me. I am love to talk to new people but I feel at a loss with small talk. I’d love to hear your opinion of this!
Written by Heather Ashley 

2 thoughts on “What is it that you do?”

  1. This is so true. Recently we were out and when asked what I do I said I am not working at the moment. When we got home my husband asked why I had said that. I told him that yeah I was working on Little Duck Calligraphy but I wasn’t bringing in any money or anything. His response was I shouldn’t put myself down like that and just cause the money isn’t coming yet it doesn’t mean I am not working my but off and I should celebrate that. It really is such a confidence thing when asked that question.

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    1. I just have to remind myself that as any small business owner we have to start somewhere. I look at the huge huge influences in our creative community & remember that they once had to take those first steps. It doesn’t mean that our journeys all lead to the same level of success but they all require such dedication & vision.
      It surprises me that I often downplay my business’ s worth before I even give someone else the chance to. I may say I just run a small online business like a side note because it doesn’t support my household. Instead I should be a bit more proud to elaborate, after all it has so much more of my heart in it then any ole job.
      It sounds like your husband is proud of you! Remember other people don’t know how much your business makes & the level of “making it” is different to everyone. So you can’t please everyone, but I encourage you to really talk about your business! You did something that really takes alot of bravery in starting it. And I’m going to try to take my own advice lol 😉.

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