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Shut Up, Already!

A surefire way to learn the value of listening: Give the incessant chatter a break.

By Geoff Williams

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You've heard the expression, "Put up or shut up"? Brett Banfe, a 19-year-old sophomore at William Patterson University in Wayne, New Jersey, is doing the latter. Last September, Banfe was inspired to a challenge: Could he be silent for an entire year? He's been quiet ever since. Not that he's leading a hermit-like existence: Banfe began a Web site, took on a publicist and made something of a name for himself. (Motorola even gave him free pagers.) And along the way, Banfe learned a thing or two about listening. Here, he shares them with us (by e-mail, of course).

How has your definition of listening evolved over the past year?

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