Fortune Cookie Friday: Small Business Advice in an Edible Wrapper – Be Sociable!

Fortune Cookie Friday is here again! This week’s fortune translated into advice for solopreneurs…

“You are sociable and entertaining.”

An interesting find for someone who is in what is often misunderstood as the profession of recluses!

As a freelance writer, I do need to spend time void of social interaction so I can concentrate on my work for clients. But as a solopreneur, getting out there to meet and greet others in the professional community is absolutely essential for growing my business. Other freelancers face the same duality. Whether you’re a web designer, business consultant, artist, or virtual assistant, you’ve got to balance the time you hang the “do not disturb” sign on your door with the time you devote to outreach efforts to market yourself.

Unless you’re a stand-up comedian or have a livelihood based on presenting, you don’t need to be adept at dishing up one-liners or doling out anecdotes. You do need to be social, though. That means having the capacity to interact with others and establish a good rapport with them. Listening, not talking, is the most important skill of all. Actively listening to prospective clients puts you in the position of learning about their specific needs, so you can identify the ways you can help them. Those who spend all their time talking, lose out on that key opportunity.

If you can flash a Hollywood smile and wow them with your charisma, great! But worry less about making a polished walk down the runway, and focus more on being attentive, alert, and reciprocative during conversations. “Sociable” trumps “entertaining” when it comes to building trust and establishing relationships.

I’m open to interpreting your fortune cookie finds, too. Feel free to share your next slip of confectionary-bound wisdom here or email it to me at and I’ll try to use it in my next Fortune Cookie Friday post!

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