Professional Development

Share Pie with Strangers

Two years ago I spent the night in a cabin in an RV park in Northern California. My family and I finished dinner and lounged around a picnic table.

A jovial man sat down and introduced himself. Talk quickly turned to work, and we realized we were both web designers/developers. I was a bit further down the track, and he had questions on a few different things like DNS and running a small web shop.

Until that moment, I knew I enjoyed talking about design, development, and client management, but didn’t feel like I had anything to contribute. I didn’t believe I had any way to really help another designer/developer out. At times, it can feel like there’s so much I don’t know, it’s hard to have the confidence that I really know anything at all.

But on a starry night near the Redwoods, eating apple pie with a stranger, I had a lot to offer.

A year later, the small web shop I helped start fell apart.

It was rough. I questioned my value and what I had to offer. The little confidence I had was shot.

As I started to get my bearings again, I got a call from an unknown number.

This man from California was calling to say how helpful our talk was that night. A year later, he was still thankful for that night. And so was I.

His call came through at the exact time I needed it. It made my month. It kick started my confidence. Made me feel like I had something to offer after all.

And here I am, another year later, thankful for that night and a phone call from a stranger.

Be nice to people. Share what you know. Listen. Connect.

And don’t forget to share some apple pie.

By Jerry Jones

JavaScript Engineer for Automattic, living simply in rural MO.

2 replies on “Share Pie with Strangers”

I’m constantly surprised at how much we benefit from helping others. Not only did you give this guy some pointers, but he lent you a hand in your time of need. We have *way* more to contribute than we think.

I recently read an amazing book on this: Adam Grant’s *Give and Take: How Helping Others Drives Our Success*. It’s one of top 3 books I’ve read in the last year. You should check it out!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s