I’ve been asked what I do. Presumeably, they’re asking about my job or who I work for. This was easy to answer when I was a programmer in a cubicle of a large firm. Since I fired that company and decided to stop “working”, I’ve had to be creative with my responses.
Sometimes I only get to give a short answer because the asker’s attention is already wandering by the time I answer. For this I have what I call the 1-floor elevator speech and it’s along the lines of “I make electronic gadgets for people.” If it looks like they’re truly interested I’ll follow up with my 5 to 10-floor elevator speech, depending on the speed of the elevator.
“I make custom electronic gadgets or devices for inventors, architects, and whoever needs to solve a problem for which there isn’t an easy off-the shelf solution. I make the circuit boards, program the microprocessor and put it in a pretty box with the necessary buttons and displays. I also make the mechanical parts, if that’s required.”
That will pique their interest and the conversation continues as we get off the elevator.