How to Answer “What Do You Do For Work, Anyway?”

Natalie MacNeil shares how to make your message clear and concise

As entrepreneurs we’re sure to hear one question over and over again, at networking events, during media interviews, on Facebook groups…even at family reunions! While we entrepreneurs can pride ourselves on our creativity and quick thinking, this is a question that often stops us in our tracks:

“So what do you do for work, anyway?”

As an entrepreneur, having a handy quick-fire response that concisely explains who you are, what you do, and who you help is a priceless tool to have in your arsenal.

But a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with that kind of concision because – more often than not – we feel what we do requires some extra explaining.

In today’s episode of She Takes on the World TV I’m going to help you narrow down your message into the most clear, concise version, so you can share what you do with ease. You’ll also have the chance to download a free worksheet to help you take action on what you learn in this episode (more on that below).

 

If this you thought this episode was useful, be sure to share it with your community. Here’s a tweetable you can use:

“What do you do for work, anyway?” @NatalieMacNeil will show you how to make the answer short n’ sweet 

Last but not least, with each new episode of She Takes on the World TV we now offer a FREE bonus worksheet, exclusively for our amazing tribe of subscribers.

This week’s PDF download is “Make Your Mission Statement.” In this exercise, I’ll help you create a clear, concise mission statement in 20 minutes or less. You can use your mission statement to clearly communicate to potential customers, clients, and collaborators just exactly what it is that you do and the value that you offer them.

At She Takes on the World and in our signature incubator The Conquer Club, we are all about helping entrepreneurs actually take action and implement because let’s be honest, inspiration without implementation is kinda meaningless! So you can look forward to free workbooks and downloads with each of our episodes as a subscriber.

Click on the link below to receive this week’s bonus worksheet and be signed up to receive new freebies and episodes as we release them.

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My actionable for you this week is to watch this episode, download your worksheet, and create your mission statement so you’re fully prepared next time someone asks, “So what do you do?”

I’d love for you to leave a comment below and let me know what you come up with.

Cosmic hugs,

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45 thoughts on “How to Answer “What Do You Do For Work, Anyway?”

  1. Aha! For once I am ahead of you Natalie. I figured this one out a few weeks ago, although I must admit it took me years to get it.

    As a teacher of Qigong, “i help you bring more energy and joy into your daily life.”
    As an editor, “i help you create books that your readers will love.”
    And over at The Biggest Room In The World, “i inspire you to discover your own personal power.”

    The key to answering, “What do you do?” Seems to be focusing on the benefit you can bring to the other person. No need for a job title or description – that comes after, when the person then asks, “Oh, that’s interesting. How do you do that?”

    Another major benefit of getting clear about what we do is that it helps us stay focused and not get sidetracked into other avenues.

    Great topuc Natalie. Thank you.

    1. Thanks Steve! I love that you created a different description for each of the many ‘hats’ you wear. And I couldn’t agree more – the KEY is definitely in the benefit you bring to others. It’s central to what we do here at STOTW and what I encourage others to focus on, as well.

      1. Thanks Natalie!
        Clarity is king, right? 🙂

        Here’s where you can see the jewelry I craft, and also read how many beads go into each model, and how many hours it takes me to craft it:
        http://www.craaloosh.com/photo gallery
        (sorry, can’t insert a link here, but it’s easy to copy&paste it)

  2. Hi Natalie,

    Love this episode – I have been practicing telling people what I do and I must admit that I’ve fallen trap to feeling like it requires “extra stuff”.

    Here is my go at what I’d tell a child: “I help super busy people find time to relax, play, and save the world.”

    What do you all think?

    xo

  3. After thought…. “I help super busy people find time to relax, play, and become superheroes.”

    Getting too childish now, hehe? It is what I do though. 😉

    In more ‘grown up’ words, I help people discover their uniqueness, find time for themselves and their needs, and use this to be of service to themselves, their loved one’s and the world.

    1. Naomi, this is fantastic! I love the ‘child’ version just as much as the grown up one. Keep up the beautiful work…the world needs this. xo

  4. Natalie I feel like you read my mind, I’ve been stuck on this the past few weeks. I can’t tell you how many times in the past month I’ve had people ask what I do and I struggle to give a concise answer.

    After some reflection this is what I’m thinking “I help professional women find happiness, health and success in life and business.” I’m not sure if that is too much for a 10 year old to get?

  5. Hi Natalie,

    “I help people get excited about their finances and understand how to best file their taxes each year!”

    With that said, most people over the age of 10 also find that job to be super confusing and boring! I think its the nature of my business, but I try to find an angle that will help people comprehend their entire financial situation. It’s an annual check-up and/or reality check depending on if it was a good/bad year for them.

    Regardless, loved the video and thanks for sharing all your expert advice! We need more inspirational women like you 🙂

    Best, Trish

    1. You are so welcome Trish! Getting people excited about their finances is no easy task, I’m sure, but it sounds like you are passionate about your business, and that will resonate strongly with your clients.

  6. Hey! I’m Sacia. I’m 13 years old. I loved your video. It really helped me, because when I tried to explain to my family members what I did, I was always embarrassed. My answer will now be: I help female crafters start their blog and business.

    1. Hi Sacia, I am so very grateful you shared this with us. At 13 you are a true inspiration, and a girl after my own heart. Keep it up and be proud of your amazing entrepreneurial spirit…your dreams will keep getting bigger and your family will grow to understand the importance of what you’re doing. Stay connected with us and keep us posted, ok? xo

  7. “I bring a sense of wonder and enchantment into people’s lives through my artwork and illustrations.”

    Whenever I get stuck trying to write promotional material for media and marketing, I always remember my business mantra: “Create. Enchant. Inspire.” Finding the right words to promote myself and my work becomes much easier.

  8. “I’m a modern milkmaid and artisan cheesemaker, museum curator, and hockey referee.” This is the answer that I give when I’m asked what I do. 🙂

    I milk a small herd of Jersey cows and make artisan cheese, and I teach cheese making workshops as well…and I’m totally adding the title “Modern Milkmaid & Artisan Cheesemaker” to my next business cards. I brainstormed that title this spring (while milking the cows of course), and I think that it is catchy in addition to describing what I do to a T.

    I loved the video, and will be sharing it with my friends.

    1. Thanks Carla! I absolutely love what you said: It sure can be difficult to keep everything simple especially when we have so much to offer. As entrepreneurs, I think this can be one of our biggest hurdles – the feeling of having sooo much to offer, and where do we start?

    1. Very neat Stella! I have a great story about a 5 year old speaking to a witch when I was at Stonehenge last summer actually. And he knew EXACTLY what she did. He was so intrigued 😉

  9. Thank you so much for this awesome episode, Natalie!

    I’ve been struggling with this topic for a long time, since I’m a philologist (who loves to write funny/insightufl stories just to entertain and make people smile), a graphic designer and photographer. Every time someone asked me this question, I got really nervous and answered with a really long explanation. Recently I got really discouraged and abandoned almost completely my photography and I also kept my writing to myself (people loved them and asked for more stories and images, but I stopped due to my low self-confidence and financial struggles).

    The thing is I have this constant feeling that I should choose only one path and stay on that course in order to focus all of my energies and be taken seriously as a proffesional. But it makes me sad to make a choice, since I love the three of them (writing/copy editing, photography and design). I just haven’t figured out how to convey all of them in one strong personal brand.

    But after watching this insightful video, I would say: “I’m a storyteller who inspire people to explore the beauty and wisdom within themselves through my photographs and writing”. 🙂

    1. I’m sorry, I wrote the word “really” like a million times, haha. English is not my first language (but I’m awesome at writing in my native language, haha). 😀

  10. Thank you for this episode. I have been working on a concise description for my IG account.
    I now have a much shorter version!
    For my business site: I help people stay calm and talk nice on the hard days.
    For my personal blog: I share my life with others so they can find joy too.
    Thank you!

  11. Aaahhh…this is really useful. I have encountered similar scenarios when I tried to explain people that – ‘I am a Feminine Lifestyle Coach.’ Now trying your tip Natalie.. how does this sound for a 10 year old – ‘ I assist busy women to experience more energy, fulfillment & pleasure in their everyday lives.’

  12. I wrote my business mission statement a few weeks ago and added my business logo, framed it, and now it sits on my desk. It’s a great reminder to me, and also helps bring clarity when making decisions about possible opportunities thrown my way.
    “I bring hope and healing to the sick and hurting through education and encouragement. “

  13. I decided to play around with this. I design travel escapes to beautiful places. If I were going after my niche (romance travel) I might change it to: I design beautiful, romantic getaways for loving couples.

  14. I used to be really vague and say that I worked for myself selling baby clothes and gifts online. Now I say that I run an online Childrens Boutique and everyone gets it x

  15. This is great! I’m not an entrepreneur, but I do all the marketing for our small Wealth Management/Life Insurance agency and have been having such trouble coming up with the right answer on this. It helps that I have a 10 year old and talk to him every day. This is how I would say it to him:

    My company helps people who are good at saving money make their money more powerful. My job is to get those people to talk to my boss so he can show them how.

  16. Wow, Natalie, this episode is so spot on to the very problem I’ve been dealing with for over a year. Until now I’ve never been able to articulate what I do. I have been organizing for friends and family as a hobby at first but I soon discovered this is something I enjoy doing so much that it doesn’t even feel like work at all.

    I can easily spend hours organizing paperwork and not get tired. My husband thinks I have a paper fetish.

    Here’s my version so far: I help others clear up their living space or paperwork so they can enjoy more time with family and friends.

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