The Advantage Of Keeping Things To Yourself

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

When competing one of the biggest things you want to hold onto is your secrets. You want to out-think, out-maneuver and out-smart your opponent. But when competing on the internet the opposite holds true. You want to give everything away.

You might think you are getting an advantage by holding things close to your chest. You try and get an advantage over someone else by not sharing information, ideas, thoughts. But ultimately you are losing.

Chris wrote a great post about this “Hustle Then Give It Away

My old way of thinking was that I didn’t want people to know about how I discovered my ideas, where I got my resources, and how I found great deals.

Ultimately I was afraid that if I gave anything away people would pass me up.

But I think the opposite is true, the more you give away the more you are growing. Why? Because you are constantly searching out new material, new ideas, and new thoughts. If you stop giving away it means you have stopped growing.

When you are confident in yourself you will give.
When you are confident you can share because there is always more.
When you are filled with confidence you will see the future differently.

Today we are not measured by our knowledge that we store away but by the information we give away.



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Kyle Reed

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I create websites, conversations, and ideas. Advocate for the 20 somethings. Looking to connect everyone to a mentor. Married to my best friend, Ginny. I like my coffee black and my dog Jack. I currently live in Nashville and work at Sony Music/Provident in Nashville
  • Conor Scholes

    Great post, Kyle…it’s kind of like that open fist, closed fist word picture…If you have a closed fist, no one can get to your precious ideas, but they can’t give you anything either…you have to open that fist and let the transfer happen both ways. Good challenge for the day…

    • Kyle Reed

      that is a great visual representation. It is a lot like that

    • Brad Blackman

      I have heard that before, but a new one came to me the other day: be a conduit, not a container. Allow things to flow freely through you, whether it’s money or ideas or gifts or talent. The more you share, the more you have in the long run. The person who shares is richer than the person who hoards.

      Great post!

  • Sam

    true say. you have to trust in your own creativity (and the work of the spirit) to help you find new material, constantly. however, how does this apply with music/books? Michael Hyatt says that people will value your work more if you put a suitable price on it. thoughts?

    • Kyle Reed

      I agree in some ways. But you have to have something to give.
      If Mike never gave things away (like his life plan PDF that he is giving away as a resource) then no one would ever buy. I think the biggest thing here is being seen as a resource first before you can ever expect to have someone pay money.

      But I do think there is definitely a fine line. I could give away custom sites all day, but then I would have no where to live. But I can also give away all the resources that I use from the web to learn how to build sites. It then falls into the court of those who I am giving the resources to. Most of the time they do not follow through. So it is a blurry line in some ways (hope that makes sense)

  • Sam

    ps — I changed my theme to standard. like? suggestions for tweaking?

    • Kyle Reed

      ps, definitely like.

      Love the header as well

  • alece

    this is so good, Kyle. we are not measured by our knowledge but by the knowledge we share. so challenging to my ever-gripping-tight tendencies.

    • Kyle Reed

      yes, challenging to me as well.
      Wanting to hold on to something makes us feel like we have an advantage on someone. at least I feel that way at times. Like if I know something you don’t then I am more knowledgable or better then you, but that is definitely not the way we measure things.

  • Michael

    I think you are dead on Kyle. I too thought that way for a very long time. I was afraid of looking stupid or being passed by. (Both are pretty selfish) It’s about giving. And it’s about others.

    • Kyle Reed

      You give well Michael, I definitely know that you believe that, its all about giving.

  • Jason

    Great points, Kyle.

  • mandythompson

    I like how you think. :) Thanks for sharing these thoughts instead of just tucking them away for yourself!

    • Kyle Reed

      hahaha, It did sit in my draft cue for a couple of weeks :)

  • Brian Notess

    It’s especially tough to give things away when your livelihood depends on your business making money.

    Even so, I’ve found the trust that you build with your users/customers is more profitable than if you had been stingy.

  • Graham

    I totally agree. I felt the same way for a long time.

    I like your idea that you stop growing if you hold things to yourself.

  • Jeff Goins

    Love this. and I love that you’re getting this. People go their whole lives without making these realizations. Next time you think of it, thank God for it.