Monday, December 5, 2011

Talk That Talk

How'd this quiet kid make a living by talking? To this day I ask myself that.
Calabasas high school, sophomore year; lunchtime bell rings! 
Slick talking classmates are flirting with girls, athletes are trying to outdo each other on the school courts, hippies are busy sneaking into corners smoking marijuana and playing hacky sack... And then there was me. 
Classroom buildings were a ghost town. Nothing but long, empty hallways covered with piss colored carpet, brown lockers and a single student sitting by himself, eating the chicken sandwich his mother prepared the night before. That was me! I stood shorter than the rest, frail in figure with a voice so high pitched you'd have mistaken me for a squealing 8 year old school girl at a Justin Bieber concert. You'd be more likely to hear the footsteps of an ant than hear me speak out loud. It was pretty clear to the entire student body that Jason Arasheben was soft spoken to say the least. 

Just as I was entering my freshman year in college, a classmate of mine convinced me to take my first sip ever of an alcoholic beverage. Then he convinced me to try my second and then my third, my fourth, my fifth, etc... Off to a house party we went. Heavily armed with liquid courage, I immediately put all inhibitions and shyness aside and decided to try something I NEVER DID BEFORE, initiate conversation. As I made my way around the party, words began to flow freely and to my surprise the response was amazing. For what I felt was the first time in my life people actually responded positively to me. It was as if I were a superhero that just discovered his powers-- amazing!

As I sit here 6yrs later (that number is a lie, but it felt good typing it), I realize that all I ever needed to come out of my shell was that affirmation from others to do so. The 10 drinks that night helped also. I went from a boy who's biggest weakness was an inability to communicate, to a man who's biggest strength is communicating. In my business, I realized that I must first sell myself to the client, and then the quality of the product keeps them coming back. 

But in the end, I still can't help but to ask myself, "How'd that quiet kid make a living out of talking?"

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