It's Nice to be Important... It's More Important to Be Nice

I’m sure you’ve understand what this whole article is about just by reading the title, so please feel free to click away and carry on with your busy life.

But if you do have a few minutes I’d love to indulge you in a topic I feel hugely passionate about.

There's one photo that's my favourite in the whole world. It’s of hugely respected former U.S. President Barack Obama giving a fist bump to one of the care-taking staff at the White House.

It’s the ultimate act of self-awareness, humility and respect. Arguably the most important man in the world appreciating that regardless of our position in society, we are all human beings and deserve to be treated with respect.

Amongst the video production community I’ve heard lots of stories and personally experienced many situations where the famous person you are working with won’t even look you in the eye or reply if you address them directly.

I find the irony in the situation that without us the media covering their lives, they wouldn’t be anywhere near as successful. But that’s their choice.

And we all have a choice…

We can’t decide what talents we are born with or what type of work our personalities mean we’re best suited to.

But we can always decide whether or not to be a good person.

We all need to buy food, pair our bills and support our families and whether you do that cleaning the streets, as a CEO or many other of the the multitude of jobs in this world, that deserves respect.

Simultaneously regardless of the level of wealth or success people have achieved in life, if you can’t respect your fellow person has it really all been worth it?

Gary Vaynerchuk talks a lot about the idea of Legacy and what you want yours to be when you’re gone.

And to me it seems a very binary choice between whether you want your legacy to be the numbers in your bank account or your reputation that people will talk about long after you’ve gone.

My intuition says that in the long run trying to be nice, rather than trying to be important will bring you far more success in all areas of your life.

So remember it’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.

I wish you every success.




I’m really enjoying Gary Vaynerchuk’s new book, check it out here…

Jack Tompkins