“What do you do?” I’m asked. “I am a Lean and Agile software development consultant.” My reply is patently inadequate. It is my first conference since I officially started my freelancing adventure a couple of months ago – and it shows. The small business entrepreneur in front of me has no idea of what I just said. I pitched a solution without even framing the problem.
We exchange business cards, but we both know it’s a mere act of courtesy.

I attend a few sessions and listen to other entrepreneurs sharing their expertise.
I can’t help but feel like I don’t belong.
Those sterile exhortations to “be more creative” end up irritating me. No! Being creative is not about your inner motivation or how you decorate your place. It is about learning how to think. I wonder what Edward de Bono, Roger von Oech, Michael Michalko and other creativity masters would say.
I roll my eyes. I swear, I want to scream.


I expected to meet can-do business warriors full of ideas and fire to spare. All I see is goldfish, scattered on the floor, gasping and squirming.

My turn to speak comes. I panic for an instant, then I let the story unfold. Crafting Outstanding Presentations unleashes all its persuasive power and, somewhat, captures people’s imagination.

But playing with emotions has unintended consequences: Today – three weeks after that event – I’m still receiving feedback, support and even some extraordinary business opportunities.

All this unexpected attention, however, is creating havoc to my existing business plans. You see, the problem is that I found a new sense of purpose. I discovered that I can make a difference, not because of what I achieved in the past, but because I can now warp time and space through a simple story.

I haven’t figured out what I should be doing next. All I know is that “what do you do?” is a tricky question, and I still have no satisfactory answer.

Some things in life are bizarre though – like the fins and scales that cover my body.

Claudio Perrone

My passion is to develop the critical thinking skills of people and help them bring the best of their work to the world. Lean & Agile management consultant, startup strategist, award-winning speaker and entrepreneur. Creative force behind A3 Thinker and PopcornFlow.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Gita

    It was a great presentation. Even thought I didn’t hear it, people still talk about it. You should go into story telling from now on. 😉

  2. Claudio Perrone

    Thanks Gita! Heart is telling one thing, brain another. The worse thing I can do is to stay still and not choose. I love to use dilemmas as story devices, but I hate when I’m right inside one of those 😉

  3. Dermot

    Howdi Claudio… long time no see!!

    I think there can be lots of good answers to the question “what do I do?” .. running a business, this question is never far from our thoughts.. what do we do? we help move people off repetitive tasks that humans aren’t good at to (hopefully) tasks that make good use of sophisticated brains. we reduce costs. we automate, simplify and optimize. we spend alot of our time solving problems in hopefully smart ways

    You’re totally right: not making a decision is a complete killer, procrastination is your enemy. making the wrong call is always reversible, missing an opportunity by not making a call will eat u up.

  4. Claudio Perrone

    Thanks for your comment Dermot! I think I should put your last paragraph on the wall 😀

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