My Opinion: Withholding Knowledge Does Not Give You An Edge



Dear Readers:

Very recently, I had someone ask me an interesting question. A successful designer wanted to know why I decided to start my PB Protege course and wondered if I had “thought it through.” “You are teaching all of your secrets,” he said. “Aren’t you worried that will work against you?” I couldn’t help but to laugh. Not at him, of course, but at how so many of us allow the fear of competition to put us into an isolated corner.

When I started in this business, there was no one there to show me the ropes, and when I tell you that I made thousands of mistakes along my journey, I am confident that is not an exaggeration. I run these courses for the same reason I take phone calls, answer emails and welcome drop-in’s into my office: I have always wanted to provide support to those in our industry and being in the position to do so is not only something I am not afraid to do, but compelled to. Personally, I find it an honor to have 36 years of experience to pull from and share and I love to meet the attendees who all have something to teach myself and each other. Though I believe in the spirit of friendly competition, the idea that more for someone else means less for me has never appealed to me. We are all unique and different and not every client who is right for you will be right for me and vice versa.

It is my opinion that we all lose when we hold onto our knowledge out of fear. When we lift others, support them, inspire and encourage them, the whole industry moves forward as we all become better. The only people who should be afraid of that are those who don’t want to do the work. The rest of us should welcome the opportunity.

Please share your thoughts on the topic. Do you feel people withhold information and knowledge because they worry sharing it will give their competitors an edge?