It started with Sister Camille, my first grade teacher at Holy Child Jesus. The comment from my first report card through 8th grade at HCJ always had a line that read “Catherine is a delightful student and very bright. But she is easily distracted and talks to other students too much.”
We can leave the easily distracted part for another blog about how Ritalin is evil and genius children are easily bored. I want to talk about my love of talking and why you should learn to love it in business too.
I have never had a problem expressing myself, introducing myself, talking to other people. Maybe part of it was because I was raised in a large extended family of loud Italians. I was also raised working in my parent’s shoe store. Being in retail helps you break out of any shell you might have had because you have to talk to customers.
I didn’t want to go into theater or become an actress. No, I liked talking about things. I talked about shoes and styles to the people who walked into the store. I talked about ideas and concepts with friends and family. And then when I started my first business, I talked about that.
When you decide to start your own business, you better decide it’s OK to talk about yourself and your business. Not in an annoying, “buy my product and I’ll be your best friend” sort of way. You need to learn to network. Help others and talk about their product so they will help you and talk about yours.
As a business (you are your company now) you should look for opportunities to speak. Not sell, just speak. Teach people something from your expertise. Give them insight to your world. They won’t decide to suddenly do what you do and compete. But they will understand what you do and appreciate it. And when they are looking for someone who does what you do, they will likely hire you. After all, you are the expert now.
I like to write. I enjoy blogging. But I love to talk. In college, I joined the radio station. Later, I became a frequent guest on a Long Island radio station, WBAB. I look for opportunities and create opportunities to talk. You should, too.
Get to know local radio personalities. Get interviewed. Look to become a panelist at a conference or gathering of people in your field. Create speaking opportunities for yourself. Learn how to create and give talks in your area of expertise.
In August of 2015, Barry and I launched our podcast, Together 24/7, because we wanted to talk about and encourage couples who have a business together. We are now the authority on couples who live and work together and we’re THE coaches for couples wanting to get into business together or take their business to the next level.
All this because, despite what Sister Camille and every other teacher had to say about my talking, I love to talk. And I learned to talk to my advantage. You should too.