They Call Us Crazy

They Call Us Crazy

“They call us crazy because they think we’re [only] exploring outer space and gazing at the stars, but they can’t see the bigger picture.” Abinet Ezra of the Ethiopian Space Science Society

If it hasn’t happened already, it will. Someone will not get what you do. And you should welcome this because it’ll strengthen how you communicate what you do.

There are two main types of “they don’t get it” moments.

  1. They don’t get it cause what you’re doing is great, but how you communicated it is terrible.
  2. They don’t get it cause what you’re doing is terrible. At which point, you should take their advice and move on to something else.

But if you fall into category number one, then here are a few things you can tweak to communicate what it is that you’re doing.

#1: Start with a short concise statement.

What do you do? Sometimes that leads you into a rabbit trail of many different things leaving everyone in a pool of confusion.

Use a metaphor or a tagline. The best way to do this is to take a large existing service or company and then make it relevant for your industry.

“Have you heard of the company called Spotify? We’re like that but for local African artists."

#2: Make it usable.

Someone should be able to easily remember what you said and share that with someone else. That’s a sign of true success. If you’re at a networking event and someone meets you, then immediately is able to introduce you to someone else using your descriptive statement, then you’re winning.

“Oh Mary, I want to introduce you to George. He’s building a brick-making company that also plans to solve the housing crisis in the nation.”

#3: Leads into a follow-up question and conversation.

You shouldn’t give away your entire story in the first 10 seconds of a conversation. It’s a relationship, there needs to be ebb and flow. And hopefully you care about the person you’re speaking with. So slow things down. Get to know them and chit chat about what you’re working on too.

At this point in the convo, they may call you crazy, but at least they can explain what it is that you’re doing to other people.


(photo via nasa)