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Don’t talk shop – at least, not all the time

Friday, 15 November 2013 | By Taskmaster

You’re passionate about your business – and so you should be.


Starting a business is exciting. Especially if it’s doing what you love or an industry you’re interested in.


You put long hours in writing that code, serving your customers, designing your new product and generally crafting your creation. The satisfaction and the financial rewards make all the bureaucratic paperwork and tax office forms you fill out at 3am worthwhile.


Let alone all those meetings! Bloody meetings! They drive Old Taskmaster up the wall!


Your business is a big part of your life. Running it just about fills your life. It can be all you think about.


So it’s easy, when you’re in a casual conversation, to fall into the trap of just talking about your business to the exclusion of everything else. To bore your friends, family and the little old lady who runs the corner store with the most miniscule minutiae of your business career.


Well, Old Taskmaster says there are two very good reasons why you should change topic: For their benefit, and for yours.


For their sake, you should do it because, as the prime minister might be tempted to say, you’re a toxic bore if you don’t.


Your kids want a parent, not a lecture on start-up finance.


Your spouse or partner wants you to do well because they love you and want you to do well, and thus they want your business and your PHP code to succeed. But they care about it because they care about you.


That old lady who runs the corner store? Well, it’s in her self-interest for you to succeed. But she’s long ago learnt not to bore customers with sermons on how tough life is at a local community level. That’s also why she’s been in business for the past 40 years. There’s a good lesson in that.


And while one or two funny anecdotes about your business are fine, shifting every conversation on to the performance of your business is a great way to make sure you’re the death of your friends’ parties.


Sure, they all want your business to succeed and wish you well. But they don’t need micro details on day-to-day operations.


Frankly, if you bore people to death, you’re no fun to be around.


For your sake too, it can be valuable to tune out – even if it’s just for five minutes – and talk about something other than your business!


So are you talking about your business again? Is the person you’re talking to starting to roll their eyes when you start mentioning the strong quarter you had?


Stop obsessing and talk about something else for a change!


Get it done – today!