245 – Dealing with the Public

When curious people ask you why you do what you do, answer with wise life principles. You don’t need to give away detailed information about your trade strategies and people don’t want you to. People ask these types of questions because they are genuinely curious and want to learn something from you.

It doesn’t matter how famous or unknown you are. You never know when that moment will come when you are granted “flash fame”, your first or only interview on TV, the unexpected press gaggle when you outperformed at just the right spontaneous moment. More importantly, as you trek through life, wise people—especially the young—will decide that you have wisdom to offer and they will seek guidance from you without warning. Always be ready to bless them with wisdom.

You don’t need to share your life story. They don’t want to argue. They don’t mean to be nosy. And, they certainly don’t know how to ask “correctly”. “Why do you do that?” or “Can I ask you a personal question?” Such phrases are bound to come up, often at your inconvenience. If you can get good at answering fan mail on the street, you’re more likely to have fans for no other reason than you are good to whatever fans you have.

Sometimes people want entertainment, which is great. Children also like to be tossed up or to watch you do that one pathetic magic trick you learned when you were ten, but they can’t figure out. Don’t be afraid to do a hand stand or sing your signature song a cappella. “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” …Practice. “Why do you work extra hard at the office?” …In general, it is bad luck to do minimals.

Don’t tell the part about how your cousin’s classmate’s teacher’s daughter-in-law’s dancing coach let you audition as a favor. It wouldn’t have worked without practice anyway, so tell that part. And, certainly don’t elaborate on your corporate business strategy, company inside baseball, trade secrets, or that you had some relationships to patch up.

Always give extra encouragement and everything will smooth over. More importantly, give a little friendliness with whomever you meet in passing.