It’s not every day I get asked to talk at such an event like Hopscotch Design Festival. I was thrilled when I received the invite from Marie, Matt and the Hopscotch team. I’m usually asked to host events since becoming the emcee for a monthly event called RTP180. Getting asked to emcee is certainly fun, but being able to share knowledge with your peers is an equally special experience.

If I’m being honest, I don’t consider myself much of a designer. I have peers that are much more talented in that area, so I collaborate a lot with them on creative projects. I’m more of an entrepreneur / marketer. So when I got the call to come talk at a “design festival”, the fear started to sink in. “What the heck am I going to talk to a room full of designers about?” The irony of all of this is that the topic was to be “fear and failure in design”. I could have spoken for over an hour about the fear that I had surrounding this talk. Instead, I decided to focus on a different kind of fear- the fear of giving.

You see, we are bred on competition. We are taught from an early age that someone will beat us if we aren’t the fastest, smartest, or toughest. If I’m a designer (insert any profession here), I should keep any and all leads to myself. I should do all of the work so that I can make the most money possible. Giving away a lead would be ludicrous.

What if we changed our perspective on how we approach business? What if we understood our strengths, recognized our weaknesses, and teamed up with those who complement us? Imagine the work we could ALL accomplish if we work together instead of always competing.

We shouldn’t be afraid to give first. Giving first is the true way to build success. My entire presentation was centered around the philosophy of “giver’s gain”. Giving unselfishly first almost always leads to gains later. I have a wonderful story about how this philosophy landed me one of my largest clients to date, but you’ll have to watch my full talk below to hear the story.

Again, a massive thank you to the Hopscotch Design Festival team for thinking of this “emcee” to give a talk at this year’s festival. I know their “give” to me will produce a “gain” down the road!