When we meet someone new and try to get past the awkward dance of what to say, we look for neutral ground. After a few minutes, it’s usually safe to ask: “And what do you do?”
When it’s my turn, I’ve always said: “I’m in the greenhouse business, I grow plants for sale.” The first part has always been misleading because it sounds like I sell greenhouses, so I added the plants. It’s matter-of-fact and not that interesting.
I ran into a TED talk that presented that we should start our answer to—what do you do, with “I help….”
“I help Garden Centers find interesting ‘Mini’ plants.”
This usually leads to follow up questions like: “How do you do that?” or ‘What kind of plants?”
If this meeting is with the Garden Center houseplant buyer, I can go deeper.
I have a collection of foliage houseplants that are not commonly available. They are selected to be suitable for Miniature Gardens and Terrariums.
But we know that 90% of ‘Mini’ plants sold are not used in a Miniature Garden or Terrarium. They are grown as a windowsill plant or moved into a bigger pot as a houseplant ---often put into a decorative container.
And what do you do?