So you meet someone for the first time and introduce yourself.  “Hello, nice to meet you, my name is such and such.”  You then attempt to make small talk about the weather or some current affairs and the third question people end up asking you is always,

“So what do you do?”

Now people who are close to me know how much I despise this question with a passion.  Not because I’m jobless or ashamed of what I do, but because that question has nothing to do with someone wanting to know who I am as a person.

Questions like this are attempts to size you up and determine whether or not your title is worthy enough to continue the current conversation.  Knowing this, I used to reply to women who asked, What do you do…,

“I live in my mother’s basement, have 4 kids by 3 different women, drive my auntie’s maroon Nova and work part-time at Chucky Cheese on Tuesdays and Saturdays so I get ½ off on any pizza I want!”

Of course if she still decided to talk to me, either she could see through the manure I was shoveling or she was broke too and thought two wrongs could probably make a right! Lol

Either way, in my opinion, it shouldn’t be about what you do; it should be about who you are. 


Do you really respond like that Jack?  Of course I don’t respond like that all the time, but I’m spontaneously sarcastic by nature and sometimes can’t help myself.  Nevertheless, forget about me… what’s problematic is that many people take this occupational introduction process very seriously.

In fact, as men, we need to a better job of toning it down a little.  For example, if you ask most men the question, “So what do you do,” many will take it as a personal pass to pat them self on the back without shame.  They’ll not only tell you their occupation, but they’ll also throw in:

  • their possessions
  • accomplishments
  • accolades
  • AND the awards still sitting on their mama’s mantle if you don’t cut them off! (whew!)

Vanity is an ugly word in the English language and no one likes an arrogant self-centered person, but if used in the right context, vanity can serve as a catalyst for having great conversations. 

Let me explain.  Over time I taught myself how to master the art of conversations.  Many of my Coaching Clients don’t believe me when I tell them that it’s one of the simplest techniques to learn and master, bu it IS!

Wondering what’s the secret?  Well, the secret to having great conversations with anyone at any given time consist of one word, 6 letters…can you guess it?  Ok, I’ll give it to you,



Bet you’re thinking, “Huh… I don’t get it.

Here’s the thing… most folks could care less about you and truly only care about themselves.

This goes way back to our humanistic laws of self-preservation.  The best way to hold a person’s attention is to not talk about yourself and all the great things you are doing and have done, but to talk about them!

Having a listening ear and asking questions revolving around their areas of focus goes a long way in building rapport in relationships.  Now I’m not saying don’t plug yourself at all throughout the conversation, but keep it to a minimum.

Once you’ve learned how to cater to someone else’s ego instead of your own, you’ll be amazed at how many people will walk away remembering how wonderful it was talking with you.  Simply put, during any conversation just remember that,


5 Ways to Have Great Conversations with Anyone:

  1. Remember – What you do for a living is not who you are as a person.
  2. Remember – Who you are consists of your God-given purpose and what you have to offer the world.
  3. Remember – Don’t define yourself through your positions, possessions or people you know.
  4. Remember – It’s not about what you drive, but what drives you.
  5. Remember – LISTEN. Stroke their ego and not your own


It’s not about your title, but more so your totality.  Mentally adopt the philosophy, “It’s not always about you.”  Allow your actions to speak volumes versus voicing your version of vainness to anyone willing to listen.

Become an effective communicator by learning to stroke someone else’s ego and not just your own.  I teach this to all of my coaching clients so trust me, this technique works wonders.  I guarantee you’ll be thanking me after you’ve tried it a few times.

Change Begins and Ends with You

YOUR CHALLENGE: The next time you meet someone, engage in small talk or try to put your macking skills to the test, remember, “It’s not always about YOU!”

Remember, I’m always rooting for you and can’t wait for the world to see the REAL You! 🙂 “Stay Out of Your Own Way!”



Jack A. Daniels, also known as The King of Breakthroughs is a psychotherapist, media personality, award-winning speaker and 5 time best-selling author of books such as, “I Need a Wife…Where are the REAL Women?” and “Stay Out of Your Own Way.” He's one of the leading authorities for overcoming fears and getting people unstuck in love, relationships, business or life. Jack is a Master Storytelling Expert who helps beginning & established Speakers find their personal story and get PAID to speak. Jack has been featured on BBC, Fox News, Bravo, BET, CBS, NBC, ABC, WEtv, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, DateDaily and you can watch him every week on the FYI channel as the host of #BlackLove!

Copyright Pressing Pause, LLC | Jack A. Daniels 2015