...There are some absolute ass holes in this industry. Tons of them. Today I was reminded that there are also some bloody good souls.
I was recently asked to take #tvmingling to Glasgow. Now I have been to Glasgow a few times of late with work – but always with projects based in Manchester or London. As such, my contacts there are few.
When I run my events in London and Manchester I have a big pool of friends and colleagues to lean upon (bribe) and recruit to my panel and team of ambassadors at my events. Not in Glasgow – here I was faced with having to shock horror ask strangers. Ask strangers to give up their time. For free. On a.
My plea went a little like this… “Hi. You don’t know me. Scotland doesn’t know what #tvmingling is. I don’t have many followers up there. I am not sure if anyone will turn up at this event. I can’t pay you. Or buy you lunch… however I would be so thankful if you could come and join in?”.
I kid you not – everyone I invited said “I want to help (largely followed by a but….”. The point is they all replied (apart from one – obnoxious so and so…). 14 of them even agreed to come along – having never met me – and participate.
#TVMINGLING Glasgow was born – and all with the sole common factor of a desire to help.
The panel were superb. Three individuals with incredibly different backgrounds and careers – but all committed to caring about this industry, and those wanting to work in it. We sat on stage as four strangers – my new ‘team and I – and everyone participated animatedly, providing informed and bloody sensible answers.
As I listened to what was being said it became apparent these were answers with heart and meaning. There were no clichés, no standardised lines of ‘oh yes you must apply here’ or ‘I can only recommend this course…’. It was brutal, honest sharing of actual experiences; and advice based on those experiences.
In amongst our audience were the ‘ambassadors’. Another group of strangers, who had offered up their time. When our panel drew to a close they sprang into action and did what is said on the tin – they mingled.
I stood back and watched, and every person in the room had made an effort to approach someone they didn’t know – and swap tips and advice. The panel too threw themselves into the thick of it. There was kindness everywhere.
It is very easy to forget that whilst it’s tough at the top – it’s tough starting out too. Seeking real and honest advice as a new entrant is a brave thing to do – very often you ask the wrong question at the wrong time, and you get such a sharp response, you don’t ask again. The people who joined me today did the exact opposite – no question was wrong, each query was answered with patience and wisdom, and the minglers left with a smile of their faces.
I am humbled by the generosity of time these people gave me today – and delighted to remember, behind every snarly co-worker as deadline approaches, there are many bloody lovely bods with a smile, waiting to make that path a little more comfortable to travel along.