One of my favorite things about the Un-Job Fair in Denver is that I have an opportunity to hang out with the wonderful Tama Kieves.

In case you haven’t had the pleasure, Tama is the author of the brilliant book This Time I Dance! Her new book, which I am eagerly anticipating, Inspired and Unstoppable, is coming out at the end of August.

As we were catching up with each other, the conversation turned to the subject of book promotion. That led us to talking about tactics which neither of us wish to duplicate.

“I am so tired,” I added, “of the snake oil salesmen who are out there gathering massive followings.”

Tama nodded in agreement and then said, “Barbara Winter. Better than a snake oil salesman.” I laughed and said I liked the sound of that.

“That could be my new tag line,” I suggested. “Actually, I’ve always thought of myself as a lot like Johnny Appleseed, going around, planting seeds, but not sticking around for the harvest.”

As an entrepreneur who is also a passionate storyteller, I am fond of metaphors. Finding the metaphor can often lead to finding clarity or to triggering a fresh idea or point of view.

In case you’ve forgotten, a metaphor is a figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between two unlike things that actually have something in common.

Creative writing classes often use metaphorical exercises to stimulate innovative thinking. You might hunt some of these exercises down (the Internet is full of them) and use them to jar your imagination.

Or you could create a metaphor (or several) to pull out when you’re asked the question, “So, what do you do?” Let me show you what I mean.

My friend Chris was visiting her local library in the small Connecticut town where she lived. There was one librarian there who had always been especially helpful so my friend made it a point to seek her out when she needed assistance.

After one such occasion, Chris shared her appreciation. The modest librarian smiled and said, “I’m just a waitress in the restaurant of knowledge.”

Pretty memorable metaphor, isn’t it?

So give it a try. What do you do?

And if you come up with a metaphor you love (or that makes you giggle) feel free to share it in the comment section here.