A lot of people don’t come to SXSW anymore because they are afraid it isn’t cool.

That, however, couldn’t be further from the truth.

SXSW is a week that I look forward to every year to deepen partnerships and relationships from around the world, meet new friends, and interconnect people in ways they haven’t thought possible before.

How? Gratitude.  Helping people in ways they don’t see as they are trapped in their 4 walls.

This was the genesis for the Next Action Podcast for me.

But how would I put it into practice this year? Try to help as many people as I could with no expectations in return.

Here are a few examples in action:

How I met Quintin Coleman

Many sales and business development people might instinctively try to find the most powerful or valuable person in the room. I don’t believe this is healthy; after all, every person is a universe, and thanks to tools like LinkedIn, people are so interconnected and can help you in ways you’ll never see coming.

While I was at the LinkedIn Lounge, I came across a beautiful set with great lighting and a number of people were taking pictures there. Quintin was ahead of me in line and just looked so excited to be there, you couldn’t help but speak with him. We even got on the stage and took some photos together.

After our impromptu photo shoot, I sat down with him and we were talking about his LinkedIn profile.  What many people would have charged for consulting advice, I was happy to give away for free.

And, as the internet says…you won’t believe what happened next.


(photo credit @shayna_pdx of @outer_elements)

Shayna Goldstein, An official SXSW photographer saw what we were up to and captured the moment in this epic shot!

Even better, she had a chance to check out more about what I do running NowSourcing, and brought her partner Aaron Rogosin for a full photo shoot of our trade show presence!

(photo credit @aaronrogosin of @outer_elements)

Uniting Your Tribe

People that have never attended SXSW may not realize that nearly 300,000 people flock to Austin for the event, so it’s extremely difficult to coordinate meetings without careful planning.  It makes more sense to have a few anchor events and have your tribe come to you vs trying to message people on Facebook only to connect once all of SXSW is over.

Here were a few such spots in my travels:

The MuckRack Party

MuckRack Party (photo credit: Jordan French) L-R Jordan French, Tina Mulqueen, Brian Wallace, Adryenn Ashley, Gavin Gillas, Jeffrey Powers

The MuckRack party provided a great place to meet up with several journalist friends and meet new ones.  Also gave a chance for yours truly and Grit Daily owner Jordan French a chance to finally meet in person!

#LinkedInLocal SXSW

(Photo credit: Brian Wallace)

Building off last year’s inaugural event, Miranda Rose Lozano, Katie Wallace, and I brought getting to know the people behind their LinkedIn profiles it back for a 2nd season at an intimate setting downtown. Great getting to see friends old and new.

Parties and Panels Breakfast

(Photo credit: Brian Wallace)

The second annual Parties and Panels Breakfast was an event for the early birds of SXSW – and a uniting of the SXSW Interactive Networking and SXSW Panel Planning  FB Groups – IRL.  special thanks to Angelique LaRue for running the SXSW 2019 Interactive networking group, Chad Parisman for helping admin, and Krista Mollion for live-streaming the event.

Filming the Filmmaker

Towards the end of my SXSW stay, Shauna Arnot filmed me for her Haste and Hustle show.  

Amrit Dhariwal was kind enough to do the videography and after the set, we had a chance to speak about growing his young presence online.  As he was in need of a proper LinkedIn headshot, I got out my new iPhoneXR and did a great portrait mode headshot on the spot.

(Photo Credit: Brian Wallace)

In Conclusion

And of course, this mindset isn’t just for SXSW, nor is it just a sales tactic. It’s a way of life.  If you still doubt my methods, I’d suggest reading The Go-Giver by Bob Burg. Small mindset shifts make all the difference!

For more on Grit Daily from Brian Wallace, check out his column here.